No Billboards on the Pathway of Life

No Billboards on the Pathway of Life
By: J.B. Hixson, Ph.D.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I have very poor eyesight. It first became apparent when I visited the eye doctor as a young boy. When the doctor said, “Read the third line on the chart,” I responded, “What chart?” It seems the older I get, the worse my vision becomes. I am utterly helpless without my glasses. For years, I have had an alarm clock by my bed that has oversized, digital numbers on it. I originally purchased this alarm clock so that when I wake up in the morning, I can see what time it is even before I put on my glasses. Yet, these days even the larger display does not suffice. My eyesight has deteriorated so much that I am thinking about installing a billboard-sized, digital clock on the wall in our bedroom so that I can read the time without having to hunt for my glasses!

When our children were younger, I recall one time when I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my daughter crying upstairs in her bedroom. She was having a bad dream, or something. I reached for my glasses on the bed-side table and could not immediately find them. I thought to myself, “I don’t really need them. I know my way around this house. I think I can navigate around the furniture and upstairs to Bethany’s room without being able to see.”

Have you ever noticed that when you make decisions while you are half asleep, it usually does not end well? What I did not realize was that one of the kids had left the piano bench pulled out away from the piano. As I went shuffling through the living room—blind as a bat, but without the benefit of sonar—I came to an abrupt and painful stop when the piano bench and I had an unplanned, midnight rendezvous. Ouch!

Sometimes going through life is a lot like trying to navigate your way through a dark house without your glasses. Unexpected obstacles have a way of popping up along the way. As long as you know for certain that the pathway is clear, walking blind is not such a risk. The problem is, we seldom have the luxury of knowing for certain that the way is clear. Yet, most of us live like it is. We tend to live life on auto-pilot, rarely venturing out of our comfort zones. We take our glasses off, so to speak, because we know the way around. Then all of the sudden God allows one of those unexpected piano benches to drop into our life and we panic. “Lord, I can’t see! What do I do? Where do I go? Why me? Why now? Why this? What’s going on?”

These are the questions of people who have been living life in the strength of their own sight, and then suddenly realize that they need their spiritual eyeglasses. God’s Word challenges us to walk by faith, not by sight. Faith is like a pair of spiritual eyeglasses. It will help get you where you are going when the lights are dim, and the way seems uncertain. Faith anticipates obstacles and prepares us for them. Faith shifts our dependency away from ourselves and onto the Lord where it belongs.

How silly we must seem to God when we take our glasses off, hand them back to Him and say, “No thanks, God. I am doing just fine on my own. I know my way around. I’ve been this way before.” Meanwhile God must be thinking, “Are you sure about that? I have a little bit better perspective up here in heaven and I am afraid you may not be aware of that sharp corner on the kitchen cabinet that was left open last night, or you may be overlooking the presence of that painful Lego that your son left strategically placed on the third step from the top of the stairs!” Maybe we better keep those glasses on after all; because, unfortunately the pathway of life is not accompanied by billboards giving us clear, readable directions. Are you trusting God today?

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